Friday, 23 September 2016

CSM: Art for grabs Family Squad and MDDB Adoption Drive

WHO WANTS wholesome family fun when we can have superpower family fun? And for all kinds of families, whether related by blood, passion, or psychic connections. Collaborating with our sponsors Sisters In Islam and Jaya One, Art For Grabs is back to inspire everyone to explore our creativity, learn about our rights, and find our inner superheroes.

Check out 90 art and activism booths, featuring homemade art and crafts as well as meaningful causes that make us proud to be Malaysian. There are also 13 events, including book launches, screenings, readings and discussions about how we can turn Malaysia into a big loving family, even for those without superpowers -- yet.

Sat 24 & Sun 25 Sep 2016, 12pm-8pm
Ground flr, The School, Jaya One, Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya.

Poster art by Arif Rafhan Othman

The above taken from:

SUNDAY 25.9.16 - 11am to 6pm
Citta Mall, Ara Damansara
Ground Floor, Main Entrance
(In front of Nandos)

Those wanting to make donations can do so at the drive. We are in need of bath towels old or new as long its not torn and multipurpose soap powder. In advance, thank you. Hope to see you there. Please share.

The above taken from:

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

My top 3 favourite local arts & crafts websites

Since I'm into handmade, creative stuff and all, I thought I would share some of my favourite local nooks and hooks websites. It's convenient for transport-less people like me as I can just choose, click and pay with a few taps on the keyboard. Easy peasy. Also, the thrill of receiving packages can brighten up a dull day! Hence in this social media edge, it's good to know a few reliable and friendly online stores, to keep in handy.

So here's my top 3 go-to websites locally:

1. Fabric Fanatics
You can find loads of beautiful linens and what nots here! Once I'm inside the shop, it is hard for me to leave it... all those beautiful materials and sewing paraphernalia but my purse is crying wolf... sigh! They do have a shop in Summit USJ Mall so you can check out either their shop or website:

2. May May Handicraft
Another similar website, selling lots of sewing materials, it's available only online but the photos are as good as the real thing. Feast your eyes here:

3.The Artsy Craftsy
What I love about this website are the tips you can gather or learn from these creative people! They even conduct many classes at affordable pricing so you can learn lots of arts and crafts... definitely for the creative soul. You can view all those inspiring and colourful crafts here:

Monday, 19 September 2016

MPOV: The Great Gatsby

This book follows the story of Nick Carraway, who has just shifted to the West Egg and had just begun his new job as a bond seller. In his own narration, we see through his eyes how he had met his rich neighbour, Jay Gatsby, and the little chaotic world he lived in. His cousin, Daisy, and her husband Tom lived at East Egg which happened to be opposite from them. It all began as a normal New York lifestyle of the swinging twenties, eventually invoked jealousy and treachery that leads to death and tragedy in the end.

At the start, it was slow with all the intros and lengthy prose, from his family to Daisy, Tom to Myrtle, that I started to feel disinterested. The mismatched characters did build up an interesting story i.e. Daisy seemed dense unlike Jordan who's on a different wavelength with an egoistic brat Tom. The flow did felt disengaged at first until Nick mentioned the intention towards the end of chapter 3.

Slowly but surely, it did picked up pace after the unnecessary fillers like the people Nick met at Jay's party and more. Then the drama picked up with the true reveal of Jay's obsession aside from his shady past. In the end, in summary, it's a tragic love story.

A clever way of writing it, as though the author was imagining and drafting a screen play. He thoroughly described the characters so that we understand who, what and where. This is where I felt a little lengthy but I guessed that's how you write way back then in the twenties. It definitely needs getting used to since it's a different style then. However, towards the end, all was forgotten except the story itself. Yes, I was truly engrossed by then as I now understand better as the drama unfolds.

I've watched the movie first hence initially I felt the movie showcased it better but towards the end, I do feel the book is better. So it's a 50/50 thing here LOL! Mind you, I actually felt melancholy when I've finished reading it. My mind was swirling with the tragedy. I couldn't comprehend the overwhelming sense of loss that Nick felt, when he tried to arrange the funeral and all... Fitzgerald wrote pretty darn well.

It's a fact proven here that humans nowadays were no different way back then, the values... the morals... the greed. When alive, everyone was like a leech, sticking on to every penny. Once dead, you are forgotten just because of some dirty rumours. Same old, same old pattern here.

Some new words, or old LOL, for me:
Epigram - a pithy saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever and amusing way
Extemporizing - compose, perform or produce something such as music or a speech without preparation; improvise
Rotogravure - a printing system using a rotary press with intaglio cylinders, typically running at high speed and used for long print runs of magazines and stamps
Oculist - an ophthalmologist or optometrist
Prodigality - extravagance, waste
Echolalia - meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words as a symptom of psychiatric disorder
Asunder - apart; divided
Dissension - disagreement that leads to discord
Armistice - an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce
Antecedents - a thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another
Caravanserai - a group of people traveling together
Portentous - of or like a portent
Expostulation - an act or and instance of expostulating
Redolent - strongly reminiscent or suggestive of something
Pasquinade - a satire or lampoon

My copy is from Alma Classics and I loved that it includes Francis Scott Fitzgerald's history such as some photos of his family and his other works. With such a beautiful cover, this book is definitely a keeper.

Goodreads rating: 3.87
My rating: 4/5

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: classic, literature, historical fiction

Sunday, 18 September 2016

ShopBack with Qoo10 Malaysia

Online shopping has started picking up all over the world, including Malaysia, as more and more people are internet savvy. With the latest mobile phone's technology, online shopping has become much easier, with just a few clicks of the button! In fact, the thrill of receiving the packages is so exciting... lots of anticipation while checking the tracking number and waiting for it to arrive at the doorstep... hence making online shopping more tempting!

I used to love shopping at malls until finding parking or squeezing into public transport became daunting. Honestly, humans nowadays lacked manners and courtesy which made the overall experience more difficult. With online shopping, you won't have all these issues! No jam, no hassle... just a few clicks away and then wait for it to arrive!

What if shopping online also rewards you with cashback? Not possible you say?

Well, there is ONE of it's kind now in Malaysia!
ShopBack is the top cashback and coupon online site with more than 500 merchants and they are also established in Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, India and the Philippines. You can enjoy savings and cashback from merchants like Taobao, Lazada, Groupon, Agoda, Zalora, Fashion Valet and not forgetting Qoo10!

For example, if you are looking for local best cosmetic, diet and food, you can check out Qoo10. You can Get Qoo10 coupon with cashback by clicking on the Qoo10 banner and tadaa... easy peasy:

Isn't that fun? What's more, Malaysia CyberSale 2016 is coming soon! Get more cashback and discounts during this 5 days sale! Groupon, Lazada, Qoo10, Zalora and FoodPanda will be taking part, giving you the best cyber deal ever!

So don't miss out on all these fantabulous sales and cashback, sign up now! Time for me to go shopping and also get some cash back!

Note: This post was written in collaboration with ShopBack Malaysia.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Phuket: day 1

Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Phuket again! This time around, we were more aware of what to expect especially since it's raining season :-p So this will be a long post filled with photos ya... be forewarned!
Onboard AirAsia
Upon reaching Phuket, we quickly bought a local sim card and bus tickets...
Waiting for the bus at the airport
This time around, we opt to stay in the heart of Patong, thinking it will be more convenient since they are only famed for island hopping with nothing much else to see. We stayed at Poppa Palace Hotel, though we had to walk about a min from the main road, it was truly a worthy hotel to stay in. After a quick freshen up, we headed to Jungceylon Shopping Mall, about 15 mins walk from our hotel. Our main aim was Banzaan Market, which is located next to this mall, for lunch!
Our fresh and sumptuous lunch at Banzaan Market THB600 only!
After that, we decided to window-shop plus air-con! Look what I've found here, a book shop! I didn't get any books though as the ones on offer were not my cup of tea.

Buy 1 get 1 free but nothing appealed to me :-(
Asia Books is just next to Starbucks!
Chilling in Starbucks after getting my tumbler :-)
What I loved about this hotel is the swimming pool which was inviting although I can't swim LOL! The architecture designs were intricate and reminded me of Bali. I mostly lounge by the deck chair while hubby dipped in the cool water after we have returned from the mall.

After a lazy evening, it's time for dinner and we didn't go far. This restaurant was just next to the hotel and we saw quite a lot of Matt Sallehs here so we thought it should be good right...
Our average dinner
Nothing out of the ordinary... mostly westernized menu and we ended having fried rice and noodle. Not worth the THB we paid... expensive yet average taste.
After dinner, we went to the famous Bangla Street! Honestly, along the walk there which was about 10mins, the rhythm and pace picked up with more tourists and locals alike.
Look at the buzz!

Definitely eye-opening for me LOL! Many tourists were busy filming the walk from one end to the other. Oh the other end is the beach but as it was late so can't see much. However it was windy and the sea breeze was definitely intoxicating. The whole area was so lively and abuzz with all kinds of night activities such as cheap beers, pole dancing ladies, many touts with attractive banners and even lady boys promoting their business. This is definitely NOT for the faint hearted LOL!!!

Next post: a disappointing day 2

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Book subscriptions and more

I've recently discovered 'book subscriptions'. What's that? you might asked. Well, it is a monthly or quarterly subscription based of mystery book and paraphernalia in a box. We will only know the theme but do not know the content which is the focal fun point of it all! Imagine receiving a box of wonderfully curated surprise! Ain't it fun?!!!

The one I knew was in USA,, where total cost of the box plus postage will amount to RM200!!! So, so, so not worth it unless you are locally in US as it's free postage within. By chance, some members in the book club I was in, KLBAC, mentioned about this and now I know there are 2 available locally! So this is basically a shout out though I have yet to subscribe... I am still waiting for the right theme :-)

Bookish Bundle:
It's available every 3 months and the current theme they are offering is Fantastic Future which costs RM75 only including postage! Pre-order closing soon on 11th September. You can order it here:

The Raven Post:
Also available every 3 months and the current theme is Riveting Retellings that costs RM80 including postage! Pre-order ends 31st October and you can order it here:

Last but not least... this is not book related but more for the creative minds and I just had to share as it's so adorable which got me drooling for more!

Funky! Box:
Loads of creatively handmade goodies available monthly and the current pre-order has closed. It costs only RM65 including postage! I wonder what's the theme for next month... curious... curious...

Do check them out and you will noticed all the wonderful teasers! Jeng, jeng, jeng... I so loved their marketing strategy as this definitely enticed buyers! This is the focal point I wanted the other 'book subscriptions' sellers to take heed from this creative-preneur! Without good marketing tool, it is not easy to sustain such business... even Owlcrate does market wisely :-)

Click the link below to learn more...

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

MPOV: A Beggar at the Gate (Mariana Givens #2)

This book is basically about a white woman's life adventure in India. Mariana is a vibrant and brave young British woman who loves learning and venturing into the new world. She was unintentionally betrothed to a rich widowed Muslim Punjab, Hassan, as his people believed that she could save his clairvoyant son, Saboor, from being misused by their ruler. Both she and Saboor left Lahore the next day after her wedding and returned to her uncle's Government House in British Calcutta. As mixed marriages were abhorred way back then, she has to endure the resentments from the higher British officials and was looked down upon by those around her.

After 2 years, an opportunity arrived for her uncle to be transferred to Afghanistan. During this journey, Uncle Adrian coerced Mariana into divorcing Hassan so they had detoured to Lahore to dissolve this marriage. However while waiting for Hassan's agreement to dissolve their marriage at Qamar Haveli, Mariana has unwittingly fallen in love with her husband. Many obstacles came in between Mariana and Hassan, with their future unsure but would their love prevail?

Finally finished reading this beautifully plotted book, with an unexpected ending, making me wished there's more! Upon reaching the end, I actually felt 'hanging' as though I have yet to read the actual happy ending. It was an interesting read, though some fillers were relevant, some made it too lengthy and unnecessary. Other than that, I loved the historical setting in India and how Thalassa has explored the history, language, religion and believes of the people back then. Her straightforward prose made it easy to grasp and imaginably a good historical love story.

The best part, I've just realized this is book 2 about Mariana Givens. The story plot was definitely seamless as I didn't know there's book 1! A Singular Hostage is when Mariana first met Hassan and how they were betrothed. So should I look for book 1 and start reading backwards LOL?

Some new words I've picked up:
Ablution - the act of washing oneself
Whirligig - a toy that spins around
Mendicant - given to begging
Caparisoned - be decked out in rich decorative coverings
Ingratiate - bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering

Goodreads rating: 3.92
My rating: 4/5

Author: Thalassa Ali
Genre: historical romance


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